When Jesus died on the cross and rose 3 days later, the sins of man had been paid for and forgiven.
However, his death brought specific miracles that were a continuance of the miracles performed by Christ during his stay on Earth and a precursor of the resurrection. Four specific events occurred at the moment Christ died and left the Earth that confirmed the testament of his claim as the Son of God. Let’s have a quick look at them:
The Tearing of the Temple Veil
Jerusalem in the time of Christ had the Holy Temple Mount. At the top of the Temple was an area where only the priests entered once a year – during Yom Kipper. The entrance to this area had a massive veil that separated “the holiest of areas” from every day man. Now this was no small veil – it was 60 feet high and over 30 foot wide and took over 300 hundred priests to move. According to Matthew 27, verse 51 “… the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” This was not a result of the earthquake that occurred, but a specific design by God through the death of Christ. The veil represented a separation of man from God – the tearing of the veil at the time of the death of Christ removed the barrier to God and entrenched that only through Christ could man come to God.
There are those that argue it should be the earthquake and the eclipse, but the eclipse occurred prior to the death of Christ, during his last 3 hours on the cross. However, the earthquake occurred when Christ died. Scripture writes that the earth quaked and that buildings shook, rocks were split, and the Romans guarding Christ feared for their lives. It was as if nature was revolting at the death of the Son of God – the Creator. The earthquake not only shook the area, but opened tombs.
The Resurrection of the “Saints”
Verses 52 and 53 of Matthew 27 tell of the tombs that were opened of the saints and their return to the city to be seen by many. While the definition of how saints is used draws some debate, it is generally determined that these were the people who had come to Christ in his years of preaching and had died during those years as well. When the earthquake opened their tombs, they arose and went back to the city. They were but another testament to the power of God through the death of Christ.
The Testament of the Roman Centurion
Perhaps the statement of Roman Centurion “Truly this was the Son of God” best illustrates the redemptive power of Christ. Here was a professional soldier who commanded over 100 men, battle hardened, and most likely a professional executioner to have been given the detail of the execution of Christ. He had chided Christ on the cross to save himself, but was terrified of the supernatural darkness covering the land. That darkness was not a storm cloud or dust storm, but a supernatural eclipse that was occurring during the days of Passover. Passover always has a full moon, so a solar eclipse was astrologically impossible yet was occurring anyway. The soldier was in this province in the first place because the Jews refused to call Caesar “god”, so he knew religion was a factor there. Christ asked for forgiveness for all – no matter how minute or gross a sinner is, we can all be saved. The Roman Centurion in the moment of the death of Christ was turned.
While I understand that there are those that still refuse to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, once again – Jesus is the reason for the Season.